Sunday, November 8, 2009

Changes and Beautiful Anticipation

This fall has been a whirlwind so far! Two days after Nathan's birthday on September 18, we got a call from our land lady. She informed us that she had plans to turn the house we were living in into an adult foster care home. She'd been in the process of getting the go-ahead from the state for several months but she had held off on telling us (probably for fear of loosing money if we had moved out sooner). She gave us thirty days to find a new place to live.
We have several conditions that made finding a suitable home difficult. One is that Nathan drives a company truck and in order to use that truck and also because he's on call a lot, he has to be within a certain distance from his work. Another is that we have several animals, including a horse, that require lots of room and an agreeable landlord!
We searched every day for weeks and were getting close to the deadline, as well as becoming increasingly discouraged, when we applied for a place between Terrebonne and Madras. The house was less than ideal but it was our only option for a place with land. It turns out that they had given us false information and it had already been rented. We resigned ourselves to the fact that we were just going to have to find a small place in Redmond and board the horse until we found something at a later time.
Then the most amazing thing happened. Nathan and I both separately just got a feeling that we were supposed to look in Madras. Within one day he found a property management company, I called them, viewed a house, and put in an application! We were accepted right away and we were thrilled. We ended up moving in a week before we had to be out of our old home and it was an easier transition than I had anticipated.
The house is a lovely four bedroom home on several acres which we can fence for our horse. Nathan loves the fact that it has an attached garage and I am enjoying the extra storage, especially the pantry! We still have a few things to put in order but for the most part we're settled in. We are so thankful to God for how everything worked out for the better and it was such a journey in trusting Him. He is our gracious Father and it is so precious how He blesses His children even when we don't deserve it!
Now that I'm thirty-six weeks pregnant, the mood around our household is switching from business and chaos to a calmer, more prepared anticipation. I was able to order an actual birth pool online and Nathan's insurance reimbursed us for it. It is so large and comfortable! We took it for a "test run" and I can see it working beautifully for the birth.
Angel talks about the new baby a lot. I'm pretty sure he knows what's going to happen. Jazmyn loves to pat and kiss the belly and we tell her that there's a baby in there but I doubt she can comprehend that. We are planning on having both the children at home for the birth so the transition should be smooth.
After discussing it with my midwife, we decided to have four lovely ladies at the birth. We will have our main midwife, Tiffany and her assistant Annie be our primary care-givers and their two assistants, Jenny and Nikki be there as well for support and assistance if need be. I'm very blessed to have such an awesome, supportive team to share this experience with. I love them all : )
We are all very excited about this birth. I know it's going to be an awesome experience and I'm really looking forward to meeting this baby. I have my suspicions that this baby is going to come early but I'm hoping for December fifteenth. For some reason I picked that date and I'm sticking with it! We'll just have to see when this baby decides to show up. Whatever the date, it's going to be amazing.
" You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you" Isaiah 26:3

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fall is almost here...

As summer is coming to a close, I am beginning to really feel like it's down to "crunch time". There is a lot of change going on around the Rettig-Yordy household. My son will start home school preschool on Tuesday, my daughter decided to stop nursing a few weeks ago, and our new baby will be here in as little as ten weeks!
For my son, our preschool curriculum is very much geared toward his own interests. My goal is to set a few short times during the day for him to focus on one activity at a time and he'll probably run around the house like he usually does the rest of the time! He's a very smart little boy and he loves to learn, but it's time for him to learn some self control by doing some fun, organized activities together. He amazes me by how much he can remember and his boundless energy is contagious.
My daughter, now that she's fifteen months, has decided she no longer needs mommy's milk. This transition was bittersweet for me. On one hand, I miss the bonding time that only breastfeeding offers but on the other hand, it was becoming extremely uncomfortable from all of my pregnancy hormones. She also wants to sleep in her own bed now, so I've been trying to make up for all the lost cuddle time throughout the day. She still doesn't say a whole lot, but she has no trouble communicating in other ways! She's such a sweet, smart little girl.
We're making plans for baby Lane's arrival. We're going to have a home waterbirth again and we want to try to do as much as we can ourselves. We want it to be a very intimate experience. I still have the same midwife, Tiffany, and she and her assistant, Annie, are a great addition to our birth team. We have all of his precious newborn clothes laid out in his dresser and we only have a few more items to get for him. I can't wait to meet this strong, active little boy inside of me!
I thank God every day for my precious family and how much they help me depend on Him for everything. Raising a family has really taught me to keep relying on His all-sufficient grace and love.
With that said, I welcome fall with open arms! Hurrah for football, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, sweatshirts, haunted houses, and snuggling on the couch will my hubby!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My New Baby Resolutions

It has been a while since I've posted anything to my blog! Summer always seems to be a busy time for everyone. I think the warm weather kicks everyone into high gear and it's all a rush to get things done before fall sets in.
I know that I have my summer projects ahead of me! I'm not the kind of person who makes New Year's resolutions, but if you ask my husband, he'll agree that I definitely make new baby resolutions! With every pregnancy we've had, I've made a list which he'll swear is a mile long (it's really only a few yards) of things that we have to do and buy to get ready for the new baby. The list for this baby is by far the longest yet.
Fortunately for our ridiculously tight budget, most of the items on the list can be found second hand and the other things listed are things that require good old fashioned elbow grease and time spent indoors. All of which my dear hubby will no doubt greet with unbound enthusiasm I'm sure! He really is a sweet heart for understanding my need to have everything "just so" before the new baby.
As I said before, the list is quite long, but a few things on it would be decorating the master bath and bedroom, organizing and putting items in storage to make more room, finishing the spare room and study, buying baby clothes sized 3-9 months, and completing my doula certification.
I'm very thankful that Nathan's days off are now Wednesdays through Fridays. Since not a lot goes on around town on those days, it's not such a sacrifice to stay home. I'm also thankful that our kids have such sweet grandparents who offer to watch them for a little bit so Nathan and I can get a break now and then! One thing I know we would both like to do would be to take a weekend to ourselves before the baby comes.
For family news, we've had quite a fun kick off to summer. We were able to visit friends and family in the "Valley" as well as the zoo and our other favourite, Ikea! There's been grilling and horseback riding, swimming, fireworks, and fun in the sandbox. I'm looking forward to more summer fun and I'm hoping that this pregnancy will continue to be as easy on me as it has been so far!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My mustard seed...

Two Sundays ago marks the second anniversary of when Nathan and I lost what would have been our third baby. We barely knew she existed and then she was gone. I don't know if she was a boy or a girl but my heart tells me she was a girl. I call her baby April.
The day was spent in a quiet way and I cried myself to sleep. On Monday I bought flowers and the simple, purple blooms still look beautiful today. They represent our loss, but they also represent our fragile hope.
You see, just the previous Tuesday, Nathan and I found out that I'm pregnant again! The baby is due in December. We feel very blessed and excited about our Christmas baby.
As with every pregnancy I'm blessed with, I feel a mix of emotions. I feel excited and I daydream about how adorable it will be to have a Christmas baby, whether it is a boy or a girl, and what kind of personality it will have. I also feel cautious. I worry about getting my hopes up too high and what people I should tell the wonderful news to because, as devastating as it is to lose a child, it is magnified by having to inform others about the loss. My worries are justified but they don't accomplish anything and the feeling of having something so completely out of my control is overwhelming at times. Nathan and I describe it as playing Russian roulette with the very heart beating in our chest.
I read a verse yesterday that spoke right to me. It is Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." The key is faith and keeping my heart in God's hands. It is a promise. It's not a promise that everything will go as I want but that, no matter what happens, I will have peace.
And I don't even need a whole barrel load of faith! All it takes is a grain, a mustard seed smidgen of faith. Matthew 17:20 says, "For assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."
Children are a blessing from God (Psalm 127:-5) and every day that I get to carry this baby is a miracle. So I've told everyone I can about our newest blessing. I watch what I eat, I try to reduce stress, get adequate sleep, and take it easy when I need to. And I continue to daydream. I am working through a baby name book with Nathan and we're making room for this baby in our home and our hearts. Because it's my mustard seed. It's what I can do to move my mountain.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Is it Safer or is it Normal?

These days, although the topics surrounding childbirth have become controversial, the statistics are indisputable that it is safer for a women to give birth naturally. But what does that mean?
The World Health Organization states that 90-95% of women can give birth normally and free from interventions. So if that is the case, then why does the U.S. have a C-section rate of 31.1%, an induction rate of 16%, another 16% are "helped along" with synthetic oxytocin, as well as staggering rates for other interventions?
If you look back at birth over the ages, a woman in ancient times didn't have many options.  There was no agony of decision over hiring a doctor or a midwife, she most likely had experienced women to support her. She didn't have to decide to give birth at the hospital, her home, or a birth center. She didn't have to fill out a birth plan and hope it was followed. Her biggest quandary was choosing a soft patch of moss or an animal skin to squat over! So what changed?
Women are still women. The complications with childbirth, though few and far between, are still the same. What changed was when normal became complicated. That's when things went wrong. Women these days, upon arrival to the hospital, are put into wheelchairs and then into bed. They are poked, prodded, and monitored by any and all means. If they are not "progressing" fast enough there are drugs for that. If those drugs cause too much pain, there are drugs for the pain. If the drugs for the pain from the drugs to help progression cause the mother's heart rate to become too low, there are drugs for that. And if all else fails, there is always a Cesarean. This has become our "normal".
If a woman chooses not to follow this standard of procedure and wants to birth her baby in her own time, on her terms, in whatever place she decides, this is called "natural childbirth". People will question her about the safety of her choices, they will question how she will deal with the pain, and either admire her courage or condemn her recklessness. After her baby is born they will both be more alert than most mothers and babies, the baby will score higher than most babies on the Apgar, have less trouble than most babies with breastfeeding, and the mother will have a quicker recovery than most mothers. But are they really "more" alert, scoring "higher", having "less" trouble, and recovering "quicker"? Or is it just normal?

My Doula Journey

Ever since I was a little girl and I found out that "babies come from their mommies", I've been fascinated by pregnancy and birth. It just seemed like such an incredible, indescribable miracle that something as tiny as a period at the end of a sentence could grow into a cuddly baby in about nine months!
Over the years, my respect and awe for this amazing experience has only deepened. My own personal experiences through miscarriages, a very traumatic hospital birth, and an empowering home birth have taught me many things. They taught me that life is precious and being able to be pregnant is not something to take for granted. They taught me that my body is strong, capable, and designed to give birth. They taught me to respect the natural normality of birth. And while I believe that experience is often the best teacher, I knew that I needed more education in order to pursue a career as a doula.
I've read just about every book I can get my hands on about birth. I'm constantly researching the subject, reading articles, and talking to people about it. I can't learn enough! That's why I was so excited to start my doula course through Childbirth International.
I started taking classes online in October 08 and the curriculum is very broad and intensive. There is a lot of reading, writing, and critical thinking involved. But I love how it stretches me and I find the studies as well as my online study group invaluable!
I don't have much time to study with two little ones, a husband, and a household, but I make the time somehow and I can't wait to be certified! It will be such an accomplishment for me and a huge step in my journey!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm Going to Volunteer!

I sent an email to the director of the Pregnancy Resource Center of Central Oregon on Monday. I told her that I was very interested in volunteering as a doula with their organization. I have always wanted to volunteer with them but I didn't know what I had to offer. Now that I'm a doula student, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity!
I prayed a lot about it and checked my email several times a day. She finally emailed back today saying that she was very excited to meet with me! Our appointment is on Monday afternoon. This is so perfect, I have butterflies! God is so good!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Where the U.S. Stands

The following is a link to the World Health Organization map showing the maternal mortality rates of the world as of 2005. For those of you who still think that the United States is one of the safest places to give birth, think again! The U.S. ranks 69 out of 167 countries. What that means is that there are 98 countries with fewer women dying from childbirth. It is unnecessary, it is a disgrace, and it needs to change.
The main cause of maternal death (25%) is hemorrhage. One of the main causes for hemorrhage is placental complications. Cesarean sections increase the risk of placental complications, especially in women who have had a previous Cesarean.
The World Health organization recommends a C-section rate at no higher than 15% for any country. The United States has a rate of over twice that at 31.1% in 2006. Therefore, is it safe to say that one of the reasons the U.S. has such a high number of maternal deaths is because of the increasing rate of C-sections?

Brand new blog!

This is my first of what I hope will be many blog entries!  I am excited to have a place to share what is on my heart with others.  While I don't believe that "everything happens for a reason", I know that what I've been through has given me a passion for helping women inform and empower themselves and help shape their own experiences. That is my calling and I'm thankful to God for leading me this far. He is forever faithful.